Is Lille Safe? The Ultimate Safety Guide for 2024

While I’ve been living in France for more than six years, my first trip to this beautiful country was back in 2012.

Since then, I’ve been on a mission to discover the lesser-known cities. And one of my all-time favorites is Lille.

I loved wandering Grand Place, shopping at the Wazemmes Market, and touring the Palais des Beaux-Arts. There’s so much to do that I’ve visited Lille several times.

But, as the largest city in the Hauts-de-France region, the question of safety always comes to mind.

So, is Lille safe?

In this post, I’ll share with you the ultimate safety guide to Lille. I’ll dive into crime rates, tips on staying safe, and potential dangers to watch out for.

Is Lille Safe? Here is your ultimate safety guide to exploring the city.
Is Lille France Safe?

Is Lille Safe?

To answer your question – Yes, Lille is safe!

I walked around before sunrise and late at night, used public transport, and visited popular sites without any problems. I never felt unsafe or threatened during my trips to Lille.

I found the locals to be friendly and the atmosphere laid back.

But, like any other city, it has its share of minor crimes.

This is Grand Place during the day in Lille. There are buildings surrounding the square. There is a statue in the middle and people are walking around. it's very safe and I was able to take this picture without any problems.
Grand Place

According to Numbeo, Lille’s crime index is moderate at 52 out of 100, with 100 being the most dangerous.

If you compare that number to the one for Lyon, it’s, actually, safer.

I’d even go as far as to say that the overall feeling of safety is similar to Strasbourg.

The biggest concern here is pickpockets, especially in busy places like Grand Place. But, even then, the crowds were nothing like the ones I experienced in Paris.

I was vigilant and took precautions, like keeping my valuables close to me, and I didn’t have any problems.

Safety Tips for Lille

Now, let’s look at what safety measures you can take to ensure a smooth, trouble-free trip to Lille.

1. Getting Around Lille Safely

This is the Gare de Lille Flandres in Lille. It's one of the main trains stations and stops in town. It's a large stone building with three stories. A clock is on the top stories and there are five entrances on the ground floor. People are walking in and out of the station.
Gare de Lille Flandres

Lille has an efficient and well-connected public transport system, making it easy to get around the city. Metros, trams, and buses are all safe to use.

If you’re in town for two days or more, you’ll most likely use one of these forms of transport.

I, personally, found the metro and tram to be the most useful.

I familiarized myself with each and knew which stations were prone to pickpockets, like Lille-Grand Palais, Gare de Lille-Flandres, and Gard de Lille-Europe.

I also made sure my phone was secured in my pocket and all my valuable items were well-hidden before boarding.

But these kinds of precautions are second nature to me. I lived in Paris for three years and quickly learned about the dangers of pickpockets.

If you’re not as familiar, take your time and stay extra vigilant.

I also explored Lille on foot. It’s the best way to get around for shorter distances, day trip itineraries, and budget-friendly visits.

I walked from Grand Place to the Wazemmes Market without any issues.

I even woke up before sunrise to explore Vieux-Lille. There were a few panhandlers who asked me for money, but that was it.

2. Look Out for Pickpockets

This is my passport and key documents. I also keep a digital copy and a hard copy with me when I travel.
Keep Copies of Important Documents

Pickpockets are the most common form of crime in Lille.

From my experience, here are the best ways to protect yourself:

✓ Be vigilant of your surroundings. The most popular spots for pickpockets in Lille are Grand Place, Wazemmes Market, and the train stations (Lille-Flandres and Lille-Europe).

✓ Avoid flashing expensive items. I always keep my phone in my pocket, unless I get lost, and only bring the cash I need for the day.

✓ Wear a backpack with a zipper in the back. I use the Wandrd Prvke 20L backpack. It has a rolltop, and the zipper is on the back, so nobody can reach in my bag without me knowing. If you have a regular backpack, I recommend keeping it in front of you.

✓ Store digital copies of important documents. I keep a digital copy of my passport and visa on the cloud. I can access all the information from my phone or laptop if needed.

✓ Keep the original receipts of every valuable item. I also keep a digital copy, so if I need to make an insurance claim, I have proof that I purchased the item.

3. Watch Out for Cars

This is Grand Place in the morning in Lille. It's very busy and there is no difference between the road for cars and the pedestrian area. There are buildings surrounding the square and people are walking around dodging cars.
Watch Out for Cars

While Lille is a very pedestrian-friendly city, it’s important to keep an eye out for cars.

Drivers can be aggressive, so make sure you always cross at designated crossings and look both ways before stepping onto the road.

The area where I had the biggest problem was Grand Place.

The sidewalks and the roads are close together and the difference between them is very small.

On more than one occasion, I found myself walking on the road when I thought I was on the sidewalk.

4. Be Respectful of Local Customs

This is a plate of regional foods in Lille. This is what I ordered when I ate at Estaminet Au Vieux De La Vieille. There are fries, a salad, potjevleesch, and carbonnade flamande.
Try Regional Foods from Lille

As with any new place you visit, it’s important to be respectful of the local customs and culture.

In Lille, this means greeting people with a “bonjour” or “bonsoir” and trying your best to speak French.

Some cultures also speak louder than others, so be aware of your volume in public places, especially restaurants.

As an American, I know that the volume of my voice is often louder than what is considered normal in France.

I always try to be aware of the volume level around me and speak softer.

Lillois are also very proud of their city and their culture, so it’s important to show respect for their traditions.

One way to do this is by trying local foods, such as the delicious carbonnade flamande (beef stew cooked in beer) or moules-frites (mussels and fries).

I’ll be the first to admit that some dishes like potjevleesch were out of my comfort zone, but I tried them anyway.

I was having lunch at one of the most popular places, Estaminet Au Vieux De La Vieille and my server highly recommended it.

I was hesitant but decided to give it a try, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

So, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things in Lille!

5. Avoid Isolated Areas After Dark

This is Rue de Weppes in Lille. I was out exploring this area alone as the sun was rising. There's a walkway and colorful houses in the back. It's surrounded by trees and there is nobody around. I felt completely safe.
An Empty Rue de Weppes

As with any city, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when traveling at night.

In Lille, it is generally safe to walk around in the main tourist areas after dark, but it’s always a good idea to stay in well-lit and populated areas.

I, personally, never felt unsafe. I walked alone (as a solo female traveler) at night and never encountered any issues.

Safest Areas to Stay in Lille

This is Place Gilleson in Vieux Lille. It's one of the nicest areas to stay. In this photo there is a row of colorful houses lined up side by side. And there are bushes in front of the houses.
Vieux-Lille

If you’re planning to visit Lille, here are the safest areas to stay:

✓ Vieux-Lille – This is one of the safest and most charming areas in town. It’s filled with historic buildings, boutique shops, and restaurants. It’s also very well-lit at night and there are plenty of people around.

✓ Euralille – This modern neighborhood is known for its shopping center and business district. It’s also well-connected by public transportation, making it a convenient and safe area to stay in.

✓ Vauban – Vauban is home to the famous Citadelle de Lille and Jardin Vauban. It’s also within walking distance of many attractions in the city.

✓ Near Lille-Flandres Train Station – This is usually where I stay when I visit Lille. It’s well-lit, convenient, and always full of people.

Key Emergency Information

When I visit a new place, the first thing I do is save the emergency numbers on my phone.

Here is a list of the ones you’ll need in Lille:

✓ European emergency number: 112

✓ Ambulance service: 15

✓ Fire service: 18

✓ Police: 17

✓ Police station in Lille: +33 3 62 59 80 00

✓ Gendarme station: +33 3 20 16 96 96

The closest US Embassy to Lille is in Paris. The phone number is +33 (0)1 43 12 22 22.

But, if you have any concerns before your visit or while you’re on vacation in France, I recommend checking the US Government Travel Advisory website.

FAQs about Safety in Lille

Is Lille safe at night?

Lille is generally safe at night, especially in the main tourist areas. I walked around Vieux Lille and Euralille at night without any issues. But, as with any city, it’s always best to be cautious and aware of your surroundings.

Is Lille a safe city?

Yes, Lille is a safe city for tourists and residents. Of course, it’s always important to take necessary precautions and be vigilant.

Is Lille safe for solo female travelers?

Yes, Lille is safe for solo female travelers. I traveled to Lille several times as a solo female traveler and never had any problems. If you follow general safety guidelines, like I did, you should be fine.

Is Lille safe for students?

Yes, Lille is safe for students. It’s home to several higher education institutions, including the Université de Lille. There’s also a large student population, making it a fantastic place to study.

Conclusion: Is Lille Safe?

In general, Lille is a safe city. It’s walkable and easy to navigate.

The crime rate is low, and the city is generally safe for tourists, solo travelers, and residents alike.

But, as with any destination, it’s important to exercise caution and follow general safety guidelines.

Now that you know Lille is a safe place to visit, it’s time to plan your adventure.

Why not start by reserving your hotel with Booking.com? That’s the same website I used to book my stay in Lille.


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I hope you enjoyed my post and found it helpful. Here are some other articles that I think you might find interesting.


Jen Ciesielski
Jen Ciesielski

Jen Ciesielski is the creator of Dabbling in Jet Lag. She has lived abroad for over ten years, traveled to more than 50 countries, and speaks French and English fluently. Her areas of expertise include moving abroad, learning languages, and travel planning. Originally from the United States, she now lives in France, where she has been for more than six years. She has also traveled extensively around the country. She shares her experiences as an expat living in France and helps thousands of people plan their trips every month.

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